Applying for the Maternity Grant in Cyprus
As a resident of Cyprus I recently discovered that we are entitled to claim a Maternity Grant. To be eligible the mother or father must have worked in Cyprus and they may contact your previous EU country of residence for details of social insurance payments made there.
In addition to this one off payment, women may be able to claim Maternity allowance if they have worked in Cyprus and fulfil the criteria for the payments, they may take into account payments made into social (national) insurance in a previous EU country of residence. As I haven't worked in Cyprus, obviously I am not entitled to Maternity pay, in the same way I wouldn't if I was still in England having not restarted employment after having Leo. Maternity payments are made for 18 weeks here and you can claim a further four months unpaid leave.
It was very straight forward to apply for the grant, which to be honest was slightly surprising having dealt with official paperwork and government offices out here before! Last year we had a new Citizens Service Centre open up for this area, which is handy as before we probably would have had to drive 30 minutes to Larnca, I collected the application form from there. Unfortunately the form is only in Greek but the man apologised which was nice and carefully went through it with me explaining what I needed to fill in.
I had to take it to the hospital to get my doctor to complete a section with my due date and the rest of the form was simple details like address, passport and registration number, dependants details and my work details if applicable.
I took the completed form back and he went through it, checked it was ok and gave me a letter of reciept. This then gets sent to Nicosia and they may check with UK to see if we paid our national insurance contributions there, then at some point (who knows when, this is Cyprus after all!) we should receive the payment!
For more information on the maternity grant and other benefits visit Angloinfo.com and Mums in Cyprus which is where I found most of my information.